If 2020 is the year of doing nothing, why has it felt so exhausting?

Struggling with unidentifiable COVID emotions? You are not alone. We've mastered the practicalities of the pandemic but the emotions are altogether more complex.

I feel as though I am street snow. Churned and spat out by spinning tyres it cloys along the road crusts, now a grey/brown non-colour surrounded by pool of its own dirty water.

That is how I feel. And not just physically, although I have accumulated several inches of sludge over the last few months.

I mean mentally, I am churned up old snow.


Trump is refusing to concede and Brexit just refuses to get on with things and the government is snail-like in response to an entire country screaming for a sense of direction. And I cannot seem to muster any kind of emotion about any of it.

And now it's Christmas. Christmas! Normally my favourite time of the year and yet I am force-feeding myself Bing Crosby and want to crawl into a hole ar every available opportunity.

I am not alone in these feelings either. Speaking to friends near and far, these winter months have been much easier than the first, practically speaking. We know how to social distance now and picking up a mask on the way out to the shop is second nature. We don’t even entertain ideas of travel anymore.


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There’s a scene in episode four of the latest season of The Crown when Princess Ann complains about her loveless marriage to her mother. The Queen’s only response is “that too will pass”. “Is that it?” snaps Ann, “grin and bear it?”

Which is the question we’re all asking at the minute. Is this it? Is this our lives for the foreseeable? A life reduced down to one-hundred-or-so square metres, or probably more accurately, a 34” screen where mirages of our friends and family appear, mute initially before they agree to use the device microphone. 


This is all to say that this is hard

This melancholia may not match the credible exhaustion and astounding dedication of our front-line workers, from medics to the local postwoman. But that does invalidate our reality either. 

This is hard and it’s okay to not feel okay without being able to pinpoint the source. Sometimes just moaning, putting voice to those feelings is enough to feel them dissipate a little. Catalogue those COVID emotions, have a moan, give yourself the space to feel sad.

And this too will pass...

But also book yourself a holiday as soon as it’s allowed, even just to a neighbouring county. We could all use a change of scenery.

Read more: Study reveals there are 3 types of 'pandemic personalities' during lockdown. Which are you?


Read more: Opinion: 'This pandemic has left an entire generation stuck in limbo'

Read moreI left Dublin for Kerry at the start of the pandemic — and I've never been happier

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